Abbott hospital main entrance building

Allina | Abbott Northwestern Hospital BAS System

Fully operational facility through three construction phases.

Facts & Stats





Market Type


Two diamonds

Square Footage

850,000 SF



Minneapolis, Minnesota


Completion Date



Global Impact Stat

9 Buildings of integration.

Our staff surveyed the existing DDC system to determine what equipment was on the system, the existing sequences of operation, and which points were being monitored and controlled. We also performed physical surveys of all of the equipment located in mechanical and electrical rooms. We partnered with a mechanical contractor and gave them direction on targeted surveys in the patient areas. This proved to be a cost-effective approach to surveying in those areas. The existing system network architecture is divided into three network buses. At this time, construction is done on one bus; the documents are issued for a second bus, and we are about to begin survey efforts on the third bus.

In early 2014, we began to take on a much higher volume of work at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. The projects have ranged from quick studies to the renovation of the emergency department, as well as operating room renovations, an MRI replacement, and a multitude of other projects. In this timeframe, we have completed well over 100 projects on the campus. Some of those projects were planned well in advance, while others were the result of an equipment failure or an urgent deficiency that required immediate attention. We have had as many as 22 people working simultaneously on Abbott projects, although that work has now tapered off to four to five staff members.

When we were invited to participate in these projects, we had no idea what the workload would be or how long it would last; however, we have successfully ramped up and down as needed to address their immediate and long-term needs. Given that the bulk of our firm’s work is with campus-type facilities, we are able to bring in staff as needed with appropriate campus infrastructure experience to support our healthcare engineers. Going back to 2014, we found the organization of drawings and the maintenance of major infrastructure systems to be somewhat lacking. This presented a challenge in that extensive field survey work was often required before we could adequately assess urgent issues. This caused frustration with the time required to address issues and sometimes with the fees required to do this work.

Given our experience as campus engineers, we know what it takes to do work efficiently on a campus. We began the process of collecting, organizing, and updating master documentation. As we would gather documents for projects, we would assess the relevance, scan the documents that were still current, and file them in our electronic library. After two and a half years, we turned over a library of 2 Gigabytes of well-organized drawing files to Abbott. Also during this timeframe, we created a vastly improved campus master documentation of air handling units, exhaust fans, BAS systems, a campus chilled water schematic, electrical one-line documentation, and a matrix of essential system generators and transfer switches. Not only have the projects been incredibly rewarding, but more importantly, the opportunity to participate in significant process improvement has been invaluable to the client. Today, we are able to do projects more efficiently and cost-effectively for this client.

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